I’m writing today because you’re a member at Covenant, and I wanted to give you an update on where we stand financially as we come towards the year’s end.
You might recall that we entered into this fiscal year (which runs from April 2018 to March 2019) having made some significant cuts to our expenses, particularly in our property and program budgets. We reduced those expenses so that we could leave others untouched; namely, to retain our staff and to maintain generous giving (about 20% of our budget) to our church plant and the missionaries and ministries we support.
We projected just under 1.2M in congregational giving this year, which represented an increase of about $60,000 over last year’s actual giving. I’m glad to say that giving through the first three quarters of the fiscal year has been stronger than last year’s. Thank you very much for your generosity and partnership. I don’t know how much anyone gives, or even who gives (none of the pastors, deacons or elders do), but it’s clear that some have started giving and others have increased their giving. I’m grateful for that, and your trust in our shared work is deeply encouraging to me.
This last Sunday, we finished looking at Galatians together, and I talked a little bit about the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to share all good things with the church; to foster a communion of good (Galatians 6.6). Please allow me to encourage all of us towards that with our giving. We’re around $110,000 behind our giving projections at this point. That’s not too unusual heading into December, but because of the reductions we made last year, it’s important that we finish strong. If you’re not currently giving to Covenant, please consider making your church a regular part of your giving. If you haven’t recently revisited the amount you regularly give, this would be a great time to do so. And if you’re someone who’s able to make special year-end gifts above your normal giving, please consider Covenant in your plans. I’d love for us to finish the year without the concerns we faced last year, and, instead, with a surplus that allows us to move forward in our worship and work together.
It’s just above 20 degrees outside as I write this, and a light snow is falling. It seems a fitting prelude to the season of Advent that begins on Sunday. My prayer for all of us is that we’ll know the courage, peace and rest to which this season points: that God is with us, and he is for us.